- Programme: Accelerated Development Programme
- Nationality: Sudanese
- Job Post-programme: Samah is responsible for the divisional and emerging market strategy for DAL Food.
Raising my game
Before joining the programme, I’d recently been promoted from a technical finance and strategic supporting role to a senior corporate leadership position. It was challenging and complex and I had limited time to assimilate into a very senior leadership team. I needed to be equipped to raise my game from a technically competent manager to an exciting leader.
I chose London Business School because of its unique and unbeatable combination of soft and technical skills. I wanted a rigorous programme that would test me and help me validate my thinking at every step and I wasn’t disappointed. The programme has helped me reach my full potential by boosting my assertiveness and my ability to express myself, ensuring my views are accepted and respected. There are huge networking opportunities at London Business School. Since the programme, I have been able to explore new business opportunities with colleagues who work in the same industry.
Emerging a new leader
My experience on the programme was an eye-opener. It was like a leadership laboratory where you have the freedom to test leadership concepts, use trial and error and then decide what strengths to develop and what weaknesses to improve. Through this, you emerge as a new leader. I discovered that leadership is not about changing who you are, it is about challenging yourself to become the best ‘you’ possible. When you start to consider possibilities that were never part of your world, and are given the tools to make changes, you develop into a newer, better version of ‘you’.
I realised that leadership is an exciting journey that you create. Instead of asking ‘where am I going?’ the real question is ‘where do I want to go?’ When you discover this secret, then your real journey as a leader begins. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a life-changing experience to engage on this programme.
I am now able to evaluate new business cases more effectively. I also engage in external environmental analysis more frequently, which makes our business strategy sharper and more dynamic. I have learnt to better appreciate brand equity and how to create it. From a decision making perspective, I evaluate strategic outcomes based on the strategic elements of the decision and not just the outcome.
Since the programme, I’ve been promoted to a divisional strategy role that’s increased the scope of my responsibility from one corporate strategy portfolio to a full divisional strategy portfolio comprised of multiple companies. This is definitely because of the new management approaches I have been able to implement since the programme. For example, I have been able to demonstrate that I can manage innovation and change. Both of these competencies require an element of risk taking.
As a leader, I am more confident, assertive, and articulate, and understand the dynamics of influence and situational leadership. I now use these tools all the time at work. The programme has brought me to the top of my game by challenging me as a leader, manager and even in terms of my wellbeing. It has been the most important project in my career to date as it has stretched my leadership DNA and unlocked a new ‘me’ that I did not even know existed inside.